Big Ten Roundtable -- Nostalgia Edition

It's time for this week's edition of the Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable, hosted this week by Our Honor Defend. So let's get on to Our Answers Written.

[Oh, and why the pic of delicious Jenna Fischer? Why not? The Office is back, we all like The Office, and we all like Jenna... and she's as worthy of space here as anyone.]

01. We're all basically in conference play now, sans Purdue who playedvisitor to Notre Dame over the weekend. What did you see in theconference opener that you liked? What did you see that suckednoodles? If you're one of the Purdue blogs, what did you see againstNotre Dame that has you nervous (or even optimistic) for yourconference opener against Penn State this Saturday? Oh, and, have funwith that game, by the way.

Question 01? What is this, the Dukes of Hazzard?

Pretty much everything "sucked noodles" for us. Losing to a not-very-good Notre Dame teams does not bode well for our season. There aren’t any more gimmes on the schedule and we think this team went from “typical 7-8 win Purdue team” to “will struggle to go to a bowl game.”

The offense, while not terrible, is wildly illogical in terms of playcalling. Something works (i.e. Kory Sheets) and so... we go away from it for a while. Then we go back when we shouldn’t. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On defense, well, we’re terrible… to the point where both OTT and us called for D-coordinator Brock Spack to be fired immediately. And anyone who reads either site knows we’re not knee-jerkers about this stuff.

We’re not optimistic, at all. PSU should run roughshod over us this weekend. All three BS staffers will be in attendance in Section 119, so if a miracle happens, then…wheee.

02. Ole Miss punked #4 Florida in Gainesville. #1 USC got punked byOregon State on national television? What's the underlying themebehind these bizarre upsets? You guessed it: magic. Some kind ofhocus-y pocus-y sorcery in the form of "familiarity". The idea beingpitched around is that these upsets come in conference games becausethe underdog has played the heavily favored team before, and thusisn't afraid of them nor surprised by anything they do. Should I buythis idea? Or are these upsets more likely the combination ofsomething more conventional, like great/horrendous gameplanning,preparation and execution by the underdog/favorite team respectively?

Probably a combination. Yes, I think there’s legitimacy to the claim of “familiarity” – it’s tough to continue beating an opponent who sees you a lot. And that transitions to gameplanning/preparation – if you know the opponent well, you can gameplan for them better. Right?

As for the examples you cited, though, I think Ole Miss is just a pretty good team in the tough SEC and USC took Oregon State lightly. I don’t think they were ready to play and this is becoming a little bit epidemic in the Pete Carroll era.

03. Entering the season, Beanie was the Big Ten's Heisman favorite.After a few games, Javon Ringer had put up the Heisman stats, though Idon't think anyone could've believed that Ringer would have the hypemachine necessary to get him to New York. Yet, after this week, I seehis name mentioned more and more in the Heisman race. Do you thinkRinger, at this pace, gets to New York on something more than acourtesy visit (on courtesy visit, see: everyone last year not namedTim Tebow; everyone in 2006 not named Troy Smith)? How about DaryllClark? Is Daryll Clark of Penn State legitimately in the Heisman raceafter week 5?

It’s too early to be talking Heisman. Let’s just slow down. It’s also too early to be talking about PSU like they’re national championship-bound. They just played their first legitimate opponent of the season and now they get us, so clearly, they have yet to be tested. Same goes for all Heisman hopefuls. 3-5 good games is a LONG way from being invited…. But if you’re demanding a prediction, I’ll say no, none of those guys go… but the best chance of going is maybe Clark.

04. With the nonconference schedule basically over, do you think theBig Ten collectively bettered its standing from the maligned positionit was in before the season began? For every Wisconsin victory overFresno State and Penn State thrashing of Oregon State, there'sMichigan's turnover bonanza against the Irish and Ohio State'sneutering by USC. Long question short, what sticks out more: thepositives or the negatives for the conference?

No. Everyone still thinks the Big Ten is weak and the only game the “nation” collectively paid attention to was aOSU getting obliterated at USC… who then went and lost to a different OSU. So Ohio State’s SOS gets knocked down another peg, further de-legitimizing the Big Ten.

We still think it’s a very legit conference and, top-to-bottom, there’s no way you can convince me it’s not on par (at least) with the Big 12, but the prevailing, idiot-wisdom from the media mouthpieces who have the ESPN stage (i.e., Mark May, Mark Schlabach, etc.) is that the Big Ten sucks, plain and simple, and after spitting that out they move on. If anyone paid any attention they’d see the “bottom” teams of recent years (NW, Minn, Purdue, IU) are much more competitive – and downright good in some cases – as the middle-to-bottom dwellers in other conferences. But whatever, everyone thinks we suck, why do I waste my time?

05. As I'm sure you may have seen on your moving pictures box, theErnie Davis movie has been getting a lot of publicity for its imminentrelease to theatres. The story, of course, centers around the firstAfrican-American Heisman winner and some of the trials that come frombeing a black athlete, playing before the Civil Rights movement andplaying in the Cotton Bowl. Does your football program have anuplifting story that you think is movie-worthy? If so, please share it.

The Seth Morales Story: The Tale Of A Walk-On Who Eventually Caught Perhaps The Biggest Pass In Recent Purdue History When Future NFL-er Mike Doss Blew His Help Coverage.

Starring Cowboy Joe Tiller… Seth Morales…and Drew Brees as The Gunslinger.

Here’s a clip of Drew talking about it.

And here’s the film itself.


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